Missouri River Water Management News

Missouri River Water Management News Releases are available on the Northwestern Division website.RSS Feed

2021-2022 Lake Sakakawea ice fishing policy announcement

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District
Published Dec. 13, 2021
Updated: Dec. 13, 2021

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Garrison Project, announced this week their 2021-2022 winter access policy for recreational purposes.

This year there will be 114 areas/points of entry to Lake Sakakawea and 20 areas/points of entry to Lake Audubon. The areas/points of entry are a combination of boat ramps, shoreline access sites, and freeways located in limited development areas. Only a couple of these points will be foot traffic only, mainly due to terrain. Entry points, defined in the policy, are available for the period of the calendar year in which Lake Sakakawea and Lake Audubon freeze over until April 1 of each calendar year, or until the lake becomes ice free, whichever occurs first.

The Corps of Engineers now updates and maintains an interactive web application pertaining to ice access locations. The web application displays all approved ice access locations and their status and can be found at the links below. Users can also download the Environmental Systems Research Institute application at no cost on either iPhone or Android and search "Lake Sakakawea Ice Access."

Woodpecker Bay and Lake Sakakawea State Park Boat Ramp Access will be closed for the 2021-2022 season due to resource damages.

The Corps of Engineers does not encourage or recommend driving on the ice at any time.  For those that do recreate on the ice, the Omaha District urges extreme caution as any winter activity performed on the ice can be hazardous. Thin ice or open water may exist near springs and pressure ridges throughout the winter.

Anglers are required to use only licensed, motorized vehicles and existing authorized public roads for entering and leaving ice fishing access areas. Some public roads often close from snowfall and will not be plowed open. In these instances, operating a motor vehicle off-road to obtain access is not allowed. Additionally, the public is reminded that access is for ice fishing purposes only. Restrictions are in place to preclude using the ice to cross the reservoir.

All Title 36 Regulations apply to the Ice Fishing Access Sites. North Dakota Game and Fish WMA Regulations apply within all Wildlife Management Areas located on Corps lands around the reservoir. Additionally, North Dakota Game and Fish has specific regulations pertaining to the use of ice/fish/spearing houses within the State of North Dakota.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District, wishes you a safe and enjoyable winter and remember to always know before you go. Check in with someone who is near the body of water where you are accessing. Bait shops, outfitters, game wardens, and public land managers are all valuable sources for ice condition updates.

Please See the Lake Sakakawea website or Facebook page for future updates pertaining to Ice Access. This includes, but is not limited to, closures/openings of access areas.

The policy indicating the designated areas on Lake Sakakawea is available at https://go.usa.gov/xeHDT.

For additional information contact: The Corps of Engineers office in Riverdale (701-654-7411) or Williston (701-572-6494), or North Dakota Game & Fish Office in Riverdale (701-654-7475) or Williston (701-774-4320).

USACE Riverdale Office

Release no. 21-071